Should Identity Labels Exist?


Cesar E. Gonzalez/ EPM

Labeling is not always a bad thing. In fact, it is a helpful tool to identify with. Therefore, why should it be a bad thing to label or follow the labels that one can identify with?

Topics about labeling have been around for some time now. Whether they should exist or not, at the end of the day society has made it the norm to label people.

There are different types of labels, however, it just depends which is preferable for an individual.

For example, there are labels to identify a person’s sexual orientation; i.e. heterosexual, homosexual (gay/lesbian), and bisexual. Of course, you have to take into consideration non-binary gender types, like gender, bigender, genderfluid, genderqueer, non-binary, and of the binary. So, you’re probably thinking, “I didn’t know there was more than just three types of sexual labels…”

According to Dr. Elizabeth Boskey who serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, “Gender identity is different from gender role or gender expression.

Gender identity refers to how people understand themselves,” she goes onto explain, “Gender expression is how they portray themselves. Gender role is the collection of behaviors and activities that society expects to be associated with a particular gender, in this place and time.”

In a nutshell, it really all comes down to the individuals themselves and how they choose to identify. Who are we to take away the rights of someone’s expression of their self? Babies are thought to be placed in the category of male or female, but it’s way more complex than that. Human biology is not always the same for everyone, and with that being said, shouldn’t be minimalized to just two basic sexes or genders. More rather believing that it is a choice of whom one chooses to be and identify.

Acceptance & Ethnicity

Now, this does get tricky simply because some people cannot (and will not) accept others for who they are. There could be a situation for a person who is non-binary, more specifically “bigender” (someone who has two genders). The question of which restroom they could use could concern people, but if they’re minding their business shouldn’t you?

Another case of labels that exist is ethnic labeling. A bit easier to understand than sexual/gender labeling, but it also does raise certain questions. Some of these ethnic labels include Caucasian/Celtic, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, African-American, Asian-Pacific Islander. More so ethnic labels contain sub-labeling, for example, one can identify as Hispanic having Hispanic descendants, but also identify with the African-American descendants as well. Believe it or not, people in today’s world the population is becoming more intertwined with itself (more mixed individuals). The beauty of living in the Los Angeles area is that there are rich cultural variations of people.

Labeling Beyond Physiology

One last case of labeling could be that of one’s personality. You’re either introverted or you’re extroverted; and yes, you guessed it they are both very opposite of one another. According to, an introvert is, “A shy person; characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings (opposed to extrovert).”

An extrovert is, “An outgoing, gregarious person; a person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment (opposed to introvert).”

People labeled themselves this way when it came to social settings for quite some time now, but who’s to say that a person cannot feel like both? Leave it to good ol’ to generate a definition for such a person, called an “omnivert,” which defines as, “Someone who is introvert and extrovert.”

The definition goes onto describing the personality traits of an omnivert; stating, “Can be extremely introverted when presented with situations they don’t want to be in or don’t care about, but on the other hand be the life of the party when they are enjoying themselves and want to be there. Both very quiet, reserved person and loud, outgoing.”

In all, labeling has become a part of the life we all live. Even if one doesn’t believe they belong to any labels whatsoever, believing just that is labeling in itself! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. At the end of the day, everyone anywhere has the right to proceed how they seem fit to go about labeling their self. With that in mind, everyone should be respectful towards others feelings and his or her personal choice to who he or she is at the end of the day. For more information on sexual/gender labels you can visit Dr. Boskey’s web article here and for more information on Dr. Boskey herself, you can visit here.

The print version of this article appeared Tuesday, Oct. 23. 

Editors Note: The original caption had minor edits before posting to best suit readers. The orginal caption said, “Labeling is not always a bad thing, in fact labeling sometimes is a helpful way to identify an object. Therefore why should it be a bad thing to label oneself or follow the labels that one identifies with?